If you tend to overthink and get distracted easily, say goodbye to these 6 behaviors

Are you the master of getting things started but never getting them finished because something else grabs your attention? Or maybe you can’t get anything done because instead of working through your tasks you spend all your time overthinking and second-guessing everything? 

Look I get it: it’s not easy to get stuff done when your mind is in overdrive and there are distractions all around, but don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not your fault.

Believe it or not: some habits you’re not even aware of are making things more difficult for you. The good news is if you change your ways, you’ll regain productivity and focus.

Today, we’re diving into 6 behaviors that you need to say goodbye to if you’re an overthinker who gets distracted easily. 

Let’s get started.

1) Trying to be perfect

Are you constantly striving to be perfect? 

Here’s the thing about perfectionism: it’s like chasing the end of a rainbow, you’ll never get there. And the worst part of all is that it slows you down and takes the fun out of everything. That’s no way to go through life. 

Make no mistake, it’s still important to do your best, hold yourself to a high standard, and take pride in your efforts. But once you’ve done all that, and it’s still not perfect, it’s time to get comfortable accepting it. 

I struggled with perfectionism like this for a long time and it caused me to overthink everything. In the end, I realized by trying to be perfect, I wasn’t achieving anything. I decided that it’s okay to adapt and evolve as I go.

Perfect plans are no good if you never get to execute them. 

And here’s the kicker: people are more receptive to things that aren’t perfect. They relate to the quirks and imperfections that are uniquely yours. So forget about being perfect, you’ll overthink less and you’ll win more support from others in the process. 

2) Doing multiple things at once

Are you guilty of trying to juggle three or four tasks at the same time? 

Multi-tasking is one of those funny things that’s counterproductive. You think you’re getting more done by juggling multiple things at once. But in reality, it takes longer and the results aren’t as good because you couldn’t give your full attention to anything. 

As outlined by the APA “doing more than one thing at a time takes a toll on productivity.” Based on various research it turns out “multitasking may seem efficient on the surface, but may actually take more time and involve more error.”

Jumping from one task to another is a recipe for disaster, of course you’re going to get distracted in the process. Say goodbye to multitasking, focus on getting one thing done at a time, and watch your productivity skyrocket

3) Dwelling on things you can’t control

There are lots of things in life that we can’t control like the weather, other people’s opinions, and the traffic on our commute home. Yet, too often, we dwell on things like this. Sound familiar? 

Here’s the thing: worrying about things we can’t control hurts more than it helps. As outlined by psychologist Elyssa Barbash Ph.D. “Worry is often something that people do to feel as though they are being productive when really they’re only creating more distress for themselves.”

Worrying like this is not only a waste of precious time but it can also really hurt your mental health as it often leads you to getting stuck in a cycle of negative thinking where it’s like your bad thoughts are on a loop and you can’t stop them. It’s called rumination.

“It’s a cycle of excessive worries in which we repeatedly return to the same negative thoughts,” explains Tanya J. Peterson, a mental health educator in Eugene, Oregon.

Life’s stressful enough without adding to it by focusing on things that you can’t control. Whether overthinking past mistakes or worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet, it’s time to stop obsessing about things that are out of your hands. 

It’s easier said than done but there are some things you can do to stop worrying about things you can’t control. And believe me, you’ll be so glad you did. 

4) Giving everything the same amount of attention

zodiacs who are likely to be overthinkers If you tend to overthink and get distracted easily, say goodbye to these 6 behaviors

If you want to stop overthinking and getting easily distracted you’ve got to stop giving everything in your life the same amount of attention. Some things are more important than others and it’s vital that you start prioritizing them accordingly. 

The most successful people in the world didn’t get to where they are by trying to do everything. They know how important prioritization is and they’re cutthroat when it comes to deciding what’s important and what’s not. 

In his book, ‘Tribe of Mentors’ Tim Ferris talks about focusing on one or two key tasks per day instead of trying to tackle a big long to-do list.

Billionaire investor, Warren Buffet famously said “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything”.

The point is successful people don’t give the same attention to everything in their life and you shouldn’t either. Start prioritizing and doing what’s important and delegate, defer, or delete everything else in line with the 4 Ds of effective time management

Not only will it reduce your overthinking and minimize distractions, it’ll give you the clarity and focus you need to execute what really matters. 

5) Ignoring your well-being 

Do you ever feel like your mind is racing? You’re constantly distracted, it’s hard to focus on anything. And no matter what you do, you can’t seem to quiet the thoughts in your head.

These are warning signs that it’s time to stop ignoring your well-being. I know you’re busy but you’ve got to make time for taking breaks, getting some exercise, and even practicing mindfulness for a few minutes each day. 

These things might sound like nice-to-haves but the truth is they’re must-haves. A recent study,” suggests that life changes which combine both physical activity and mindfulness are most effective at lifting mood and improving health and wellbeing.” 

And experts have been telling us for a long time that exercise is the secret to well-being.

In his book “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise And The Brain”, John Ratey talks about the power of exercise for well-being, “The mechanisms by which exercise changes how we think and feel are so much more effective than donuts, medicines, and wine.”

If you want to be at your best, free of distraction and a busy mind, the answer is simple. Stop ignoring your well-being and start practicing self-care

6) Constantly keeping your phone close by  

Do you think having your phone on silent stops it from distracting you? Apparently not, according to recent research.

As one study demonstrated, having your phone nearby will hurt your cognitive performance even if it’s silenced or turned off, and even if you’re confident it’s not impacting you.

Here’s the kicker: a staggering 81% of people keep their phone within arm’s reach at all times with 88% of people using their phones while on the toilet. It’s no wonder people are easily distracted and constantly overthinking. 

A simple productivity hack that I’ve found useful is to leave your phone in a drawer out of sight for set blocks of time when you’re working. Or better still, leave it in another room altogether. 

One thing is for sure: if you want to stop being distracted so easily you’ve got to say goodbye to constantly keeping your phone nearby. 

The bottom line

Be honest, how many of these behaviors do you recognize in yourself?

The truth is: with constant stimulation in today’s world, it’s all too easy to be distracted and stew over trivial matters. 

The only option is to be intentional about your actions. Start by saying goodbye to the 6 behaviors we’ve outlined today and watch your life change.  

Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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